Blog Post

News International’s Solution to Readership Downturn? Invest In Print

Don’t believe the hype: printed newspapers aren’t doomed, you just need to spend more money on them. That seemed to be the analysis of Dominic Carter, trading director at News International, and the man responsible for boosting the profits of the The Sun, News of the World, Times and Sunday Times. As reports, he told the the Westminster eForum on online advertising yesterday: “Our view is that as a business we invest heavily in our offline brands and it will make our online brands more successful as well.”

And he means it too — in September, The Sun spent £1.25 million on a sales campaign promoting the newspaper’s new national 30p cover-price, which ended a long period of regional price cuts. The Sun might still be the UK market leader in terms of circulation with a daily average of 3.14 million in August, but given red-top’s 30-year dominance of the popular market it is lagging behind in online terms with just under 16 million global unique users in August and just 6.36 million in the UK. Times Online continues to increase its traffic and has gone from nine million to just under 20 million since its relaunch in February 2007.

NI has integrated its off and online sales and marketing teams and Carter said he expects to see the benefits of a concerted multi-platform marketing push within 12 months.

— Another panel at the event also tackled the thorny issue of privacy and behavioural advertising. Carter claimed NI had collected 13 million names and was looking of ways to cement its relationship with them.

Guardian Media Group director of digital strategy Simon Waldman, who called for calm in the debate over privacy and behavioural advertising. “The issue of privacy is going to rear its head and I hope there’s an intelligent approach to it and not scaremongering”, he said.